Don’t Bother About Numbers, Modi Tells Opposition

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NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said an active Opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy and they need not bother about their numbers but speak actively and participate in House proceedings.

Speaking to the media ahead of the commencement of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said he is hopeful that this session will be productive.

“The role of an Opposition and an active Opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy. The Opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they speak actively and participate in House proceedings,” he said.

He urged all MPs to think of the country when in the House and address issues related to the larger interest of the nation.

“When we come to Parliament, we should forget Paksh (treasury) and Vipaksh (opposition). We should think about issues with a ‘nishpaksh’ (non-partition) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation,” he said.

Modi also said the new House has a high number of women MPs.

“My experience suggests that when the Parliament functions smoothly, we are able to fulfil numerous aspirations of the people of India,” he said.

PM, Rahul Gandhi Among MPs Take Oath On Day 1; Sadhvi Creates Controversy Over Her Name

The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha commenced Monday with jubilant BJP members raising ‘Jai Shri Ram and Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans as several members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi took oath.

As the Leader of the House, Modi was the first to take oath as member of the lower house

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari were among the promiment members who took oath.

Addressing the media outside parliament before the commencement of Parliament session, Modi reached out to the opposition saying they need not “bother about their numbers” as their every word is “valuable” to the government.

He urged all MPs to be impartial in the House and address issues related to the larger interest of the nation.

“When we come to Parliament, we should forget ‘paksh’ (treasury) and ‘vipaksh’ (opposition). We should think about issues with a ‘nishpaksh’ (impartial) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation,” he said,

Besides the Union ministers who were elected to the Lok Sabha, members from 23 states and union territories, including Andra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar took oath.

The remaining members will take oath on Tuesday.

The Lok Sabha at present has 542 elected members.

Elections to Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was cancelled as the Election Commission felt excessive monery power was being used to lure voters in that constituency. A fresh date is yet to be announced.

BJP MP from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur created a controversy when she suffixed the name of her spiritual guru with hers while taking oath, drawing objections from the Opposition.

Amid protests and shoutings, Thakur said that it was her full name and she had mentioned that she had already mentioned her full name in the form she had filled for oath taking.


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